Officers have full agenda for January’s leadership summit

A lot has happened since OSEA held its inaugural All In Leadership Summit last year — when chapter leaders left both inspired and empowered to strengthen their union.

Pictured, from left, are members of the executive boards of Oregon City Chapter 14 (President Kathleen O’Brien, Treasurer Vicki Poyser and Secretary Deanne Chaves) and Clackamas County Children’s Commission Chapter 601 (President Teressa Crawford and Treasurer Alison Celsi). They were among the 200-plus chapter officers from throughout the state who attended OSEA’s first All In Leadership Summit.

In the succeeding months, they spearheaded an unprecedented series of membership drives that grew overall membership by 15.3 percent. Then over the summer, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME made it unconstitutional for unions to collect fair-share fees from public sector workers. As a result, Janus opened the door for anti-union organizations such as the Freedom Foundation to begin flooding members’ email with scare tactics designed to get them to drop their membership.

In order to help our leadership meet this new challenge, OSEA will be hosting a second All In Leadership Summit next month in Portland. Like the last one, all chapter officers are encouraged to make attending a top priority.

To make it easier for officers throughout the state to come, OSEA will cover all the costs of attending, such as meals, lodging, mileage and time release. Although the summit is meant for officers, chapters can also send activists as long as each chapter does not send more than four people. Click here to register.

“This summit will build on what we were able to achieve last year as well as challenge us to think boldly about the type of culture we want to create for OSEA in a post-Janus world,” OSEA President Tim Stoelb said.

To meet this goal, OSEA has invited Bob Bussel, the director of the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center (LERC), to give an inspirational talk to open the summit. The following day, he and his LERC colleagues will lead an interactive workshop that will provide concrete actions attendees can take to cultivate a culture of pride and unity in their own chapters.

Also on day two, Susan Miller and Richard Ramirez — OSEA’s directors of field operations and organizing, respectively — will discuss best practices chapters can use to conduct effective membership recruitment.

As with the first summit, much of the afternoon of day two will be devoted to helping leaders create and implement plans for chapter membership drives with OSEA organizers and field representatives on hand to facilitate the process. Click here for a preliminary agenda.

“The cornerstone of the summit will be the membership drive planning piece,” Stoelb said. “We must grow our membership if we want to maintain the level of service our members expect and deserve.”

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